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Coyte Farm: Biggest day in shaping St Austell's future is nearly here

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

  • An artist's impression of how the Coyte Farm site could look

  • NEW LOOK: Artist's impressions of how the Coyte Farm site, top, and Penwinnick Road supermarket, could look.

  • An artist's impression of how the Penwinnick Road supermarket may look

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THE FATE of three major planning applications that could reshape the future of St Austell will be decided in the new year.

Thursday, January 17 will be D-Day for planning applications for three supermarkets, all battling for a slice of St Austell.

Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee will debate applications for supermarkets at Coyte Farm in St Mewan, Pentewan Road in St Austell, and Penwinnick Road in St Austell.

The Coyte Farm application outlines a £110 million development including a Sainsbury's as well as a 160,000sq ft shopping park, care home and pub.

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Phase two of the application – which has not been submitted – could see up to 250 homes built, 30 per cent of which would be affordable.

Controversially, it would have more retail floor space than all St Austell's town-centre shops combined.

Mercian Developments Ltd, the company behind the scheme, said it would provide more than 1,000 jobs, but campaigners have argued that these would just be displaced from elsewhere.

Last week the Cornish Guardian revealed the results of its poll, asking readers if they supported the multimillion-pound development. More than 72 per cent of almost 1,200 people said 'no'.

Arguments against included that it would "destroy" the town centre, would take away green fields and would increase traffic problems.

"Our task over the coming weeks is saying we haven't gone large merely for the sake of it, it's because occupiers tell us they want to come," said Simon Hoare, from Mercian.

"We are absolutely confident anything smaller and less dramatic would not do the job that needs to be done."

St Austell Town Council is due to form its response to Coyte Farm – either to support or object to it – on Tuesday (December 11).

The town council has already objected to two separate applications – one from developers Terrace Hill and one from Cornwall Council – to demolish the existing council offices on Penwinnick Road to make way for a 21st-century building and a new supermarket.

Cornwall Council said the proposed four-storey office would safeguard the 450 public sector jobs in the town and save about £700,000.

Terrace Hill has applied to build a food store next door, creating about 350 jobs.

"It's the site closest to the town centre therefore, as far as is possible, (it) can genuinely generate linked trips with both the town centre and neighbouring facilities," said Adam Pratt from Terrace Hill.

"Surveys have confirmed there will be no material impact on trade in the town centre.

"Our primary focus is to make sure our own proposals are as comprehensive as they can be and offer as much to the town as possible. We also keep an eye on what competitors are doing."

But Tom French, chairman of St Austell Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's interesting that Sainsbury's is unlikely to want to go to the potential site at 39 Penwinnick Road because it's too small. And furthermore, Morrison's don't like their supermarkets on stilts. So it's probably fair to say no supermarket really wants that site."

The third application is for a Morrison's supermarket on brownfield land at the Pentewan Lab Site, by developers Broadley Park Properties.

"We remain confident that our proposal is fully compliant with all policies and delivers by far the best outcome for St Austell," he said.

"It delivers real reductions to traffic congestion by replacing the double mini-roundabouts with a single roundabout and also delivers further major investment in the town centre at a level way above either of the others, despite ours being the smallest scheme.

"It also delivers new, sustainable long-term jobs that aren't just a displacement of existing ones."

The chamber has said it supports this application.

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  • CoyteFarm  |  December 18 2012, 11:16AM

    For more information on Coyte Farm like our Facebook Page: http://tinyurl.com/d6z8v7g or follow us on twitter: @coytefarm

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  • CoyteFarm  |  December 18 2012, 11:15AM

    For more information on Coyte Farm like our Facebook Page: http://tinyurl.com/d6z8v7g or follow us on twitter: @coytefarm

    Rate   -4
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  • kernewekonan  |  December 09 2012, 3:04PM

    As i see it not all of this development will be on a green field site a lot of land on the right as one approaches st, austell from truro is part of an old quarry, tregongeeves, we used to play on the structure when we were young. any how i believe this ought to get planning permission to proceed asap. as for white river place it should have been covered in in the first instance instead of having to shop in the wind, rain & cold. yet another cheap way out for st, austell. The power to be never learn, do they.

    Rate   4
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  • jimjams2011  |  December 08 2012, 9:44AM

    Can someone contract waitrose we need one of those!!

    Rate   5
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  • dma5545  |  December 07 2012, 6:00PM

    I am one of the 72% that dont want the Coyte farm development built. Its Not that I dont see the need for the regeneration of St Austell because it really needs it. What I dont want is the development being built in that area....ITS A GREEN FIELD SITE!. Build it on the old clay working areas that are already a blot on the landscape of St Austell. Improve the look of St Austell instead of destroying green areas. Also what about these houses that are preposed :who will they be for? I was informed today by a friend that he went to see about purchasing a new house in a development in Dog village near to Exeter and when he asked what was being built next to the owned houses he was informed that 200 families from Birmingham were being housed there!!and i bet they wont be troubled tenants that the local council want rid of....yeah right. # Lets get some promises that these houses will be for locals and not accept more trouble from other parts of the country. And PLEASE build this in a better place.

    Rate   8
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  • shagrats  |  December 07 2012, 2:40PM

    St Austell had a chance to re-invent itself as a Victorian / Modern juxtapose shopping hub and they blew it. Now from what I have seen so far in any of the future plans its still the same old Cr*p. Dull faceless retail space that provide the dull faceless developers / architects with a profit, but does nothing to actually enhance anyones life or surroundings. The Eden Project is a success because its different, radicialy different !, People come from all over the world to come and visit what is a greenhouse. Now surely that should have inspired or shown planners / architects that you need to push the envelope as regards to design and function to guarantee success. The (S) White River Development is a classic example of just what not to do. Anyone who had anything to do with that "cull de sac" of creativity, should be as far away from from any decision making process with future plans as possible. Personally as a St Austell resident my view is that St Austell is a dead town. It has been catastrophicialy miss-managed over the last 15 years, and now shops are shutting left and right. I can't ever remember seeing the Fore St looking so unloved and depressing. I know its a picture of towns up and down the country as a whole, but not just after a 70 million development its not. The chamber of commerce is fighting a loosing battle, and loyalty cards and spin publicity, this will improve nothing. I think St Austell is being slowly over run by "drop out care in the comunity centers", and all the social problems that brings with it. I counted 3 going up Truro Road. Charity shops (no buisness rates to be paid by the landlords) and phone shops / pound shops thats it All I can say is thank god I have a car.

    Rate   16
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  • catweazel  |  December 07 2012, 2:29PM

    Those that have been in charge of the countless regenerations of the town centre and other shops in St Austell over the last 20 years should hang their heads in shame because they have failed the people of this area. There have been endless opportunities to develop this once thriving market town but at each attempt they have failed miserably. Colossal amounts of money have been poured into the town over the years and there is nothing, absolutely nothing to show for it. St Austell Town Council, please tell me why on earth anyone would want to visit a town that now only has a couple of decent shops among the discount and charity shops? The Coyte farm development will be fantastic for the area, bringing jobs and visitors and much needed money into the economy and I am pleased that the Chamber of Commerce has the forsight to see this. I'm not sure of who the 72% were who said No but I would say to them that they are living in the past and they have to think about the future of the young people who want to remain in Corrnwall

    Rate   9
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  • cheekyman_jr  |  December 07 2012, 8:58AM

    "Surveys have confirmed there will be no material impact on trade in the town centre." ...well, of course! Have you ever been to St Austell? How can you make a dying town centre any worse?

    Rate   27
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